Iowa and Iowa State renew their men's basketball rivalry on Friday night in Iowa City. The Cyclones have beaten the Hawkeyes three straight times. Last year Iowa State led by 21 in the first half and coasted to a 10-point win. Both sides are expecting a closer game this season.
The Cyclones lead the Big 12 in three pointers per game and in three-point percentage. ISU also leads the Big 12 in rebounding margin
Iowa State is 6-2, dropping games to #11 Cincinnati and to #21 UNLV, but learned from the losses.
"We learned a lot about ourselves after those two games. It's a painful lesson sometimes when you have to learn that way but I thought we really responded," said ISU head coach Fred Hoiberg. "That's the thing I'm most proud of our guys is the week of practice they had. They came after it, they came to work every day and we got better. We took a big step in the right direction this past week."
Iowa is 7-2, with losses to #24 Wichita State and Virginia Tech, who are both undefeated.
The Hawkeyes will start three freshman, guards Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons, and center Adam Woodbury. Iowa State will start four senior starters. How Iowa's young team will respond is anyone's guess.
"I think our team is just going to continue to be a work in progress. There's no other way to look at it," said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. "We've got pieces that we're counting on that have been pretty good. We've got pieces that we were counting on that maybe haven't been as good as we had hoped."
"These guys are full of confidence. They know their capabilities," said Iowa junior forward Zach McCabe. "They know what they need to do. As a veteran player, you just got to tell them to keep pushing it. Each game is going to be a grind and we've just got to learn from these last two games."
Iowa and Iowa State play at 7 o'clock Friday on the Big Ten Network.
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